Domingue In Haiti

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The island of Haiti, which today is occupied by the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic is one of several landfalls Christopher Columbus made during his first voyage to the new world in 1492. Columbus established a makeshift settlement on the north coast which he dubbed Navidad after his flagship, the Santa Maria, struck a coral reed and foundered near the site presently known as Cap Haitien. At his arrival on the island, Columbus found the Taino Indian inhabitant who referred to their homeland by many names, not the most commonly used Ayti or Hayti which means mountainous. Initially hospitable toward the Spaniard, the natives were forced to respond violently to the newcomers’ intolerance and abuse. In fact, when Columbus returned…show more content…
Under the French administration and by the eve of the French Revolution, Saint Domingue produced about 60 percent of the world’s coffee and about 40 percent of the sugar imported by France and Britain. As such, Saint Domingue played a pivotal role in the French economy, accounting for almost two-third of French commercial interest abroad and about 40 percent of foreign trade. The system that provided such largess to the mother country, such luxury to planters, and so many jobs in France had a fatal flaw, however. That flaw was slavery. In this respect, Steeve Coupeau admits that: “The origins of modern Haitian society lie within the slaveholding system”. (Steeve Coupeau, 1988,…show more content…
In this respect social historian James G. Leyburn has said of Toussaint Louverture that “what he did is more easily told than what he was” (James G. Leyburn, 1941, 37). Born sometime between 1743 and 1746 in Saint Domingue, Toussaint belonged to the small, fortunate class of slaves employed by human masters as personal servants. While serving as a house servant and coachman, Toussaint received the tutelage that helped him become one of the few literate black revolutionary leaders. Upon hearing of the slave uprising, Toussaint took pains to secure safe expatriation of his master’s family. It was only then that he joined Biassou’s forces, where his intelligence, skill in strategic and tactical planning, and innate leadership ability brought him quickly to prominence. Le Cap fell to French forces, who were reinforced by thousands of black in April 1793. Black forces had joined the French against the royalist on the promise of freedom. Indeed, in August Commisioner Lege-Felicite Sonthonax abolished slavery in the
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